08/07 2013

Kurt Busch may run IndyCar season finale, working on Indy 500 deal

Kurt Busch may run IndyCar season finale, working on Indy 500 deal

While Kurt Busch is trying to find a full-time Sprint Cup ride for 2014, the 2004 Cup champion isn’t ruling out trying his hand behind the wheel of an Indy car.

Busch completed the Indianapolis 500 rookie orientation program in May with Andretti Autosport. He hasn’t competed in an IndyCar event yet but possibly could run the season finale at Auto Club (Calif.) Speedway, which will be run Oct. 19, the Saturday night before the Cup race at Talladega.

Kurt Busch could run the IndyCar season finale this year and is working on a deal to run the 2014 Indy 500. (AP Photo)

Running the California race would get him ready for a possible run at the 2014 Indianapolis 500.

“I’d like to do that race and then attempt the 500,” Busch said during a break in testing Tuesday at Watkins Glen Speedway. “If I can’t get that oval race in, I just feel like I’d show up at the Indy 500 as a blind guy with a stick trying to find his way around and that is just going to be too much to make up.

“We’re working on it, and it’s a good possibility. We just have to keep our fingers crossed.”

Busch would like to do race with Andretti, whom he had hoped to race stock cars with this year as part of a deal that would have kept Dodge in the sport.

That never materialized, and Busch went to Furniture Row Racing, where he is 15th in the Cup standings and vying for a spot in the Chase. He also has no Cup deal for 2014, and it appears he’s set on trying to work a deal that would allow him to try to run the Indy-Charlotte double on Memorial Day weekend.

Busch tried to visualize an Indy 500 four-lap qualifying attempt prior to going out for his qualifying lap Saturday for the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

“Our qualifying is a lot less nerve-wracking than to be ready for a full day, four laps at a time, and putting an open-wheel car on the grid,” Busch said Saturday.

“I was trying to chew on some of those emotions, that way if I do come back in the month of May, I can chew on them and not be so nervous.”

The Andretti team is owned by accomplished racer Michael Andretti, son of legendary driver Mario Andretti.

Busch said he is actively working on finding sponsorship to do the Indy-Charlotte double.

“Sponsorship is the name of the game,” Busch said. “Everybody wants good advertising partners to do great things with, and I think this is a unique opportunity.

“We’re out there looking and we’re out there promoting and we’ll see if things come together the right way.”

He is working on a deal that would put him in Andretti car but he also has heard from other IndyCar teams that have interest in him.

“Andretti is a phenomenal individual and has accomplished a ton in the cockpit and he’s done so much outside of the car,” Busch said.

“It would be great to do it with him. We’ve also had other offers from a couple of other teams after we did our practice session with Andretti. But I’d like to do it with Andretti since he’s the one that dipped me in the bath the first time and baptized me.”

So is this just a dream?

“It is something you want to do as a dream,” Busch said. “Sometimes you have to throw away common sense when you have a dream to go and do it.

“We’ll see if it turns out. A lot of guys would love to do it but there’s that 600-mile race you have to be at that same night, so that’s the big focus.”